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    Russia Could Shelve South Stream if EU Sees No Risk in Ukraine Gas Transit

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    European countries that are not worried about the risks with breaches in gas delivery guarantees via Ukraine are taking the risk upon themselves, the Russian Minister of Economic Development warned.

    STUTTGART, November 26 (Sputnik) — Russia could scrap its South Stream pipeline project that would deliver gas to the European Union if the EU sees no risks in transiting gas supplies through Ukraine, Russian Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev said Wednesday.

    “South Stream is a way of removing transit risks for European consumers if European consumers have the demand of lowering risks, then we will build South Stream, and if there isn’t a demand, then we won’t build it,” Ulyukayev told journalists in Germany.

    He added that countries that were not worried about the risks associated with breaches in delivery guarantees via Ukraine “would have to take the risk upon themselves.”

    On November 24, Head of the Russian Energy Ministry's oil and gas production and transportation department Alexander Gladkov stated that the construction work on the South Stream gas pipeline was continuing as planned, and prospects for the pipeline were good.

    In 2012 Russian energy giant Gazprom announced the beginning of construction of a pipeline across the Black Sea to reduce the possibility of unreliable Russian natural gas passage to central and southern Europe through the territory of Ukraine. The pipeline is expected to be fully operational by 2018.

    Brussels has repeatedly stated that the project violated the European Union's Third Energy Package, because under its charter it is an illegal conflict of interest to simultaneously own a pipeline and produce the natural gas that flows through it. Moscow insists that the construction of the pipeline does not contradict the regulations.

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    South Stream gas pipeline (50)

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